Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979. He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music in the USA and now lives in London. After initial studies as a modern pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. During this time he gained considerable experience as a continuo player in Baroque opera productions in the USA and Europe.
Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize as well as the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.
Kristian Bezuidenhout is a frequent guest artist with the world’s leading ensembles including The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, The Orchestra of the 18th Century, Concerto Köln, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director. He has performed with celebrated artists including Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Pieter Wispelwey, Daniel Hope and Viktoria Mullova and he regularly gives Lied recitals with, among others, Carolyn Sampson, Mark Padmore and Jan Kobow.
Bezuidenhout now divides his time between concerto, recital and chamber music engagements, appearing in the early music festivals of Barcelona, Boston, Bruges, Innsbruck, St. Petersburg, Venice and Utrecht; the Saintes Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Chopin Festival Warsaw, Musikfest Bremen, the Tanglewood Festival and Mostly Mozart Lincoln Center, and at many of the world’s most important concert halls including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Berlin and Köln Philharmonie, Suntory Hall, Theatre des Champs Elysées, Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall.
Since 2009, Bezuidenhout has embarked on a long-term recording relationship with Harmonia USA. Recent recordings include a disc of Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans, and Volume 1 of a projected 10 volume series of the complete keyboard music of Mozart; Volume 1 was awarded a Diapason Découverte. Other projects for Harmonia Mundi include Mendelssohn piano concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore. Bezuidenhout’s latest CD release of Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Viktoria Mullova (Onyx label) has received great critical acclaim.
Bezuidenhout is a guest professor at the Schola Cantorum in Basel and the Eastman School of Music; in 2007 he was awarded the Erwin Bodky Prize and the Deutschlandfunk Förderpreis. Bezuidenhout is Artistic Advisor for the Constellation Center, Cambridge, MA.
Future plans include a tour of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Ton Koopman; trio recitals with Viktoria Mullova and Pieter Wispelwey (Haydn & Schubert Trios on period instruments); Mozart with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment directed by Jonathan Cohen; all-Mozart play-direct programmes with The English Concert and Australian Brandenburg Ensemble and the Salzburg Festival with Giovanni Antonini and the Mozarteum Orchester.